Nadal, seldom short of positive energy, leapt with delight and hustled to his chair to prepare to serve for the championship. It was 9:10 p.m. in London when he walked to the baseline, and the light was so dim at the end of this intermittently rainy day that both players were concerned.
“I almost couldn’t see who I was playing,” Federer said, shaking his head.
Nadal agreed. “In the last game, I didn’t see nothing,” he said. “Was unbelievable. I thought we have to stop.”
Wimbledon’s organizers have pushed their sessions to the limit this year, with other matches finishing at 9:30 p.m. Not finishing on Sunday would have forced the tournament to extend to Monday, with all the logistical challenges that would have entailed.
“It would have been brutal for fans, for media, for us, for everybody to come back tomorrow, but what are you going to do?” Federer said. “It’s rough on me now, obviously, to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light.”
You have to love the picture. I was interested to hear Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe, and Bud Collins all describe it as the best match ever in their mind. I leave that evaluation to later when more perspective is possible, I am just blessed to have seen it–read it all.